Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

15 Jul

Alex Gonzalez

For most of his career, Gonzalez has been most notable because there was another player, also named Alex Gonzalez, also a shortstop, with similar skills and limitations. It was all very confusing. When this sort of thing happened in the eighties, one of the centerfielders named Willie Wilson selflessly allowed himself to be known as “Mookie”, but neither of these guys would do us the favor. This Alex Gonzalez’s middle name is “Luis”, so that won’t work either. He is four years younger than and came up three years after the other Alex Gonzalez, who retired… uh… three years ago.

This Alex Gonzalez is Venezuelan (Viva Venezuela!) and came up with the Marlins in 1998; the next year, he took over shortstop because Edgar Renteria was allowed to make a living wage. Gonzalez hit .277 with 14 homers, and was the Marlins’ token All-Star the year after they won the World Series. However, he walked only 15 times, so his OBP was .308, a trend which would continue.

His power, however, did not, as over the next two seasons he hit only sixteen homers. In 2000, he hit only .200, and was one of the worst players in the league. In 2001, he managed to hit .250 with 30 walks, making him acceptable when his defense was taken into account. He regressed in 2002 and was hurt most of the season, but rebounded in 2003 for his best year to date. He wasn’t actually good, in that his OPS+ was just 96, and that slugging-heavy (his OBP was .313) but it was something. Unfortunately, that was a peak, and while he hit 23 homers in 2004 he only averaged .232, with a .272 OBP, and there’s really no power that will make up for that. After a bad year in 2005, the Marlins let him go. Only three players have played more games in a Marlins uniform, if that’s the sort of achievement that impresses you.

He signed with the Red Sox, where he put up a typical .255/.299/.397. (Note that he missed playing for his third world champion in his career by only one season.) Gonzalez instead signed a three-year contract with the Reds, where he had the best year of his career, hitting .272 with 16 homers and 22 doubles in just 429 plate appearances, putting up a career high in all three slash categories. Unfortunately, he fractured his knee and missed the entire 2008 season. After a rought start to 2009, he was traded after the deadline in a waiver deal to the Red Sox, where he played quite well down the stretch. He signed a one-year deal with a team option with the Blue jays, hitting 17 homers before the break, and was traded to the Braves.

It is possible that Gonzalez’s power surge is more than an illusion. When healthy the last few seasons, he has been able to hit for power. While the Blue Jays lead the AL in homers, their park has played as a slight pitchers’ park this year. It is almost more surprising that Gonzalez has played nearly every game than that he’s hit 17 homers this year. His homer rate isn’t all that much higher than what he put up in 2007, it’s the games played that’s out of context; after averaging just 94 games played over the last five years, he’s already played 85 this one.

Gonzalez has a good defensive rep, and Plus/Minus, at least, likes him this year. His range factors are also quite good. A slow runner, especially for a middle infielder, even before the knee problems. Hard to fit into many lineups because of his low OBPs, and if Bobby hits him second will cost the team a ton of runs.

The most-similar batter to Alex Gonzalez is, in fact, Alex Gonzalez.

Alex Gonzalez Statistics and History –

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335 Responses to “Alex Gonzalez”

  1. 1
    JoeyT Says:

    That Alex S. Gonzalez is the most similar to Alex Gonzalez is hilarious. Too bad it doesn’t work the other way around.

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll.

  3. 3
    sansho1 Says:

    “The most-similar batter to Alex Gonzalez is, in fact, Alex Gonzalez.”

    That is fantastic.

  4. 4
    Stu Says:

    What are the chances that at least one of the “A” votes was not cast by Bethany? 0%? 0.0%?

  5. 5
    Rob Cope Says:

    If Alex hits 8th, this isn’t bad. He’ll get pitched around occasionally, which means a guy who wouldn’t normally walk would walk. He will also have more power than your average 8-hole guy too. Of course, that means Smelky will hit 7th. Man, we need a CF…

  6. 6
    Marc Schneider Says:

    From previous thread,


    I think I actually ended up agreeing with most of what you said in terms of needing to get rid of Yunel. My point about clubhouse chemistry is this–good chemistry tends to be a function of winning rather than a cause. I go back to a book I read years ago by Jerry Kramer, the guard on the Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packer teams, who wrote Instant Replay and then Farewell to Football. His point was that the Packers had great cameraderie when they were winning, but when they started losing, the team chemistry started to deteriorate. Similarly, Jim Bouton talked about how the great Yankee teams of the early sixties had lots of dissension and still won and I don’t even need to mention the “Bronx Zoo” of the 1970s–the Yankees won despite their manager getting into a fight with their right fielder on TV. Then, there are the Oakland A’s of the 70s, who didn’t get along but still won three straigh World Series.

    I’m not saying that team chemistry is meaningless, but I’m not sure how any outsider can determine whether a team has it or not or how much any one player makes a difference. Look at the Mets-everyone says Jeff Francouer is a good clubhouse presence and blah, blah, blah. At the same time, he sucks as a player. Do you believe his contribution to team chemistry outweighs his horrible performance? I don’t. Sure, it’s more pleasant to work with people you like, but does that necessarily affect the team’s performance? I don’t think so unless the guy is such a distraction that the other players can’t focus on the game. You can’t expect to have 25 people sharing a clubhouse all summer and expect them all to like each other. What I do think affects performance is a bonehead like Yunel who makes stupid plays and acts unprofessionally–not because he disrupts clubhouse chemistry but because he directly hurts the performance of the team.

    If you want to say that’s part of clubhouse chemistry, fine, maybe you are right. I don’t know, and neither do you, how Yunel was really perceived by the rest of the team. But if Yunel was hitting .320 with 15 home runs, do you think the Braves would have traded him? The fact is we don’t know what affect so-called clubhouse chemistry has on team performance, but I suspect Jerry Kramer and Jim Bouton are right–winning causes team chemistry rather than vice versa. I would rather have a clubhouse full of talented players that don’t necessarily get along but that come together on the field rather than a bunch of guys that go to dinner together but can’t play. But I don’t think you can tolerate a player who spaces out during games and who seems unable to act professionally.

  7. 7
    Jeff K Says:

    Hilarious on the Sims Score.

    I cast one of the A votes. Again, getting anyone or anything in exchange for cutting bait on Yoko is a win. Getting a sea bass (venezulean, not chilean) and two low-minor prospects back is like landing the biggest fish of the day when you’re about to call it quits.

    I’d guess Bobby will slot him in at 7 or 8. Yoko hit 7th most of the season for Bobby.

  8. 8
    Bethany Says:

    Huh? I haven’t voted.

  9. 9
    Mac Thomason Says:

    You know, I was all set to go with “AGony” as a nickname, but now I’m tempted to use “Mookie”.

  10. 10
    braves14 Says:

    Mookie went to South Carolina. :)

    I like “Agony” better. I voted the trade a C.

  11. 11
    Smitty Says:

    I vote Mookie

  12. 12
    JoeyT Says:

    You are a major league shortstop. A sharply hit grounder by the catcher zips to your right at the edge of your range, and your immobile third baseman teammate has no shot at it. If you go for it, you could make the play, but if it bounces off your glove, you could be charged with an error.

    If you like your team, or you’re professional, you try to make the play. If you’re a malcontent, you pass.

    This could also go for things like breaking up double plays.

    I don’t think “chemistry” has a huge influence, but I can see where it could occasionally matter a little.

  13. 13
    Smitty Says:

    I think team chemistry is very important. However, I will say that it can be overblown.

  14. 14
    Johnny Says:

    I get the Sea Bass nickname. If you look at him with his beard, becuase he has full cheeks he does look fish like. Just saying.

  15. 15
    Bethany Says:

    @14 Ha! It’s true.

  16. 16
    Coop Says:

    In high school I was banned from the science lab. My chemistry was too often overblown.

  17. 17
    Weldon Says:

    Rob – They’ll pitch around him in the 8-hole, but that just means he’ll swing at more bad pitches. I’d rather bat him 7th (6th on Sunday) but we’ll see.

    I like Mookie. Seems much more friendly. Maybe AGony if his OPS drops below .700.

  18. 18
    Bethany Says:

    Mac, what were the traffic numbers from yesterday, out of curiosity?

  19. 19
    justhank Says:

    I assiduously avoid the ESPYs. It is the WorldWide Leader at their masturbatory worst.

    Is Heyward back tonight?

  20. 20
    Cary Says:

    Again, the Braves are already in 1st place and have the best record in the National League, right? Yunel had been a part of that and they seemed to be winning with him playing a key role as the linchpin in the field.

    Justifications of the trade rely too heavily upon clubhouse cancer fantasies. So what if Bobby doesn’t like him? Really.

    This was a classic buy low-sell high trade and the Braves got rooked.

    It may make Bobby feel better (or whatever other players feel wronged). It may make certain fans feel better. It won’t make the Braves better and since it’s supposed to be a professional team, then that’s not good.

    The Braves have turned 2009’s NL Cy Young contender and Top-3 NL shortstop (when top starting pitchers and top shortstops are perhaps the two most valuable and sought after commodities in baseball) into Melky Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez. That is freakin’ laughable! Har-har.

  21. 21
    Bethany Says:

    I’ve been trying to find some good Braves podcasts, and the one I’m listening to now suggests we trade Medlen for Cory Hart.

    Now how would you rank THAT trade?

  22. 22
    drewdat Says:

    I forget where I read it (Beyond the Box Score?), but the Skydome is one of the better home run parks (maybe just for RH hitters) and plays as a pitchers’ park because it suppresses singles, for whatever reason. However, it was noted that Gonzalez has hit for similar power in away games, even though about half of his homers have been close calls (“Just Enough”). Inconclusive.

    I don’t completely disregard chemistry, but I do think our current place in the NL East standings is something of an argument against the necessity of trading Yunel on those grounds. It’s not like Melky will suddenly blossom into a star without Yunel’s bad vibes making him ground to the pitcher (is it?).

  23. 23
    Clarke Says:

    Hey Stu do you mind emailing me? Talked to my buddy Luke about why Johnson left, wanted to see if you heard the same

    clarkenewton at gmail dot com

  24. 24
    BFedRec Says:

    @21… to use an old meme from a year or two ago… that trade prospect made my throw up in my mouth more than just a little

  25. 25
    justhank Says:

    I’d hate to lose Medlen. Kawakami (and a prospect) for Hart? Might do that.

    Prefer more athletic outfielders, though.

  26. 26
    Jeff K Says:

    @20 – Fantasies? Did you go read what the players and Wren were saying about Yoko and the trade? Obviously not. While diplomatic, not one person had anything nice to say about him.

    Oh, and I suggest you go check out the Braves minor league system. Javy, Yoko and Jo-Jo have been turned into Smelky, Mookie, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Dunn, Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky.

  27. 27
    billy-jay Says:


  28. 28
    oi! Says:

    Medlen for Hart would be a lousy trade. Hart’s not a bad player, but Medlen’s proved he can start or relieve in the majors. And his minor league track record indicates that he should continue to excel.

  29. 29
    Cary Says:

    @26, So? This isn’t a high school clique–at least it’s not supposed to be. It’s a professional baseball team. The players should deal.

    If the management wants to trade Yunel, fine. But they should take the time to find a better deal, shouldn’t they? Gonzalez is a garden variety, good field, no hit shortstop. You can get those for not much.

  30. 30
    Cary Says:

    Gonzalez’s 2009 splits:

    1st half: Avg .214 OBP .256 SLG .302 OPS .558 – HR 2 RBI 20 Runs 10 SB 0
    2nd half: Avg .258 OBP .299 SLG .402 OPS .701 – HR 6 RBI 21 Runs 32 SB 2

    Gonzalez’s 2010:

    1st half: Avg .259 OBP .296 SLG .497 OPS .793 – HR 17 RBI 50 Runs 47 SB 1

    When the HRs go away in ATL, there is nothing to sustain him from sub-Yunel 1st half numbers. His on-base is already much worse (Escobar’s is .334). Without as many HRs (say 6 instead of 17) you are looking at something more like .225 avg, .277 obp, .363 slg, .640 ops.


  31. 31
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yesterday, I had 7,343 hits. That’s not page views, I think, but visits.

  32. 32
    sansho1 Says:

    The “chemistry” angle is derided as though bad chemistry is being used as the rightful justification for the trade. No. Chemistry did not cause the trade. The bad chemistry AND the trade are outcomes of Yunel’s cratering performance and terrible attitude.

    Causes — poor performance, terrible attitude
    Effects — bad chemistry, trade

  33. 33
    Jeff K Says:

    @21 – Are you sure that’s not a Brewers podcast? Medlen for Corey Hart would be a bit steep for the Braves. Although, I’d probably do the trade if we got some other pieces back like a decent prospect or two.

    Corey Hart’s intro has got to be Sunglasses at Night, right?

  34. 34
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Mike Dunn is being called up. That suggests that O’Flaherty or Venters or — gulp — Wagner is going on the DL.

  35. 35
    Bethany Says:

    @31 That’s awesome Mac! Thanks for sharing.

    @33 No, it’s the Atlanta Baseball Show and they are very emphatic about the whole matter. I don’t know much about Hart, but I know I wouldn’t give up Medlen for anyone other than a real stud and Hart looked terrible in the ASG.

  36. 36
    sansho1 Says:

    Cary, does any performance variation happen in a vacuum? Or does coaching, coachability, and work ethic have some effect on a player pulling himself out of a slump? If no, why have coaches at all? If yes, isn’t it possible that Yunel spurned any efforts to pull him out of a horrific season-long slump, and also did not show the inclination to do it himself? And wouldn’t that affect the likelihood of his returning to prior levels of production? What would YOU do with someone like that?

  37. 37
    Mike N. Says:

    Medlen for Braun!

  38. 38
    Bethany Says:

    Oh no… It’s got to be Wagner, doesn’t it? What about Saito? Is the lefty/righty ratio in the pen that important?

  39. 39
    Jeff K Says:

    @29 – Good lord that’s silly. Right, the players “should have to deal” with on-the-field antics and boneheadedness from a 27-year-old who has demonstrated that he won’t field unless he feels like it and hasn’t hit a HR since August 29, 2009 – that’s 366 ABs. Yeesh.

  40. 40
    Jeff K Says:

    @37 – Medlen and KK for Braun.

    But we’d better hurry if we’re doing anything with the Brewers. I’d hate to have the Brewers in town and have the player we’re trading for playing against us.

  41. 41
    Jeff K Says:

    @34 – Wags has/had that ankle thing going on, maybe they want to DL him backdated a few days?

  42. 42
    csg Says:

    no way we move Medlen for Hart? If the Braves get an OF’r it will be in CF

  43. 43
    csg Says:

    #29 – players with attitude issues while not performing may limit their trade partners. im not saying this is the case, but we’ve heard for several weeks that the Braves have been fielding offers. I doubt Wren accepted an offer that wasnt the best

  44. 44
    Jeff K Says:

    Well, Hart gives you righty bopper in a corner OF spot. But I’m with you, I’d rather find a way to get McCutchen.

  45. 45
    Alex R. Says:

    Mel Gibson and his wife didn’t have chemistry, because apparently, he wasn’t getting overblown.

    Ladies and gentlemen, good night, tips at the door…

  46. 46
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Additional nickname suggestion: “Another Alex G.”

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    who does Heyward replace? Hicks? and now Dunn? maybe Chavez?

  48. 48
    oi! Says:

    Corey Hart’s intro has got to be Sunglasses at Night, right?
    When I saw him play against Birmingham (quite a few years ago), they used a clip of Grover saying “Can anyone find my sunglasses?” every time he came to bat.

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    Ill take Diaz in the corner over Hart. Especially if the cost is Medlen

  50. 50
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Hopefully he replaces Chavez, but that might be too much to ask.

  51. 51
    Jeff K Says:

    AAG as an acronym also works, if all those HRs disappear.

    @49 – Me too, actually, if it’s just Medlen for Hart straight-up.

  52. 52
    Alex R. Says:

    Now that I’ve gone off the deep end with potty humor, let me get back on track :)

    Re: the trade

    I think we all would have preferred getting a starting outfielder and Infante just taking over at SS.

    My hope is that Wren has one more deal. I think he wanted keep strong infield depth and even if you feel Gonzo’s season will flatten out, solid defense + 17 first half homers is hard to ignore. Alex Gonzalez officially now leads the Braves in home runs. Keep that in mind.

    But with the constant injury issues for Chipper, I’m happy to have 2 Major league starting quality players in Gonzo and Infante, in case of another Chipper injry. That said, I would like tos ee Wren pull off one more trade and aquire another outfielder.

    (rumors are the Braves are interested in Cody Ross. I would hope we could do better than that?)

  53. 53
    Alex R. Says:


    I can speak for ‘Another Alex R’ and officially throw my support behind ‘Another Alex G’. That’s fantastic.

  54. 54
    sansho1 Says:

    McCutchen isn’t going anywhere. The Pirates don’t exist solely to trade premium second-year talent. They exist solely to trade premium fourth-year talent.


    That’s got my vote!

  55. 55
    Alex R. Says:

    re: Medlen

    No WAY do I want to see us trade Kris Medlen unless the hitter in return is a big time power hitter with a high OBP who can be plugged into the middle of our order. Medlen is young, cheap and has been terrific.

  56. 56
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Cary seems to argue that the Braves traded Escobar because “Bobby didn’t like him.” I think that’s a pretty simplistic statement. He doesn’t like his lack of professionalism. I may not put much stock in clubhouse chemistry but I do in professionalism. No matter how much talent you have, at some point you have to harness it. At some point, it does affect your performance, whether it’s this year or down the road. It’s not as if Yunel is, or is ever likely to be, Hanley Ramirez. He was a good player the last couple of years but not so great to justify overlooking his lack of professionalism. I mean, in one game, the guy missed an easy pop-up and almost got the first baseman seriously injured. And it’s not the first time he has done things like this–e.g., looking up at the press box after being given an error. No doubt the trade could come back to haunt the Braves but, as I said previously, I think you have to give Bobby some benefit of the doubt in knowing when it’s time to cut bait.

  57. 57
    Jeff K Says:

    @54 – Probably not, but it’s fun to think about. A guy like McCutchen batting lead-off for this team, getting Jason back, and taking Yoko/Melky out of the lineup! Man, that would be fun to watch.

  58. 58
    Alex R. Says:


    Wow, Marc, we normally disagree but your assessment there is dead on. Very good point about professionalism. And again, as being well reported by several Baseball writers, both at teh AJC and with ESPN and SI, it wasn’t just Cox that had major issues with Yunel. The players on the team.

    And it’s hard to justify a guy acting like Yunel, when the team has a 20 year old in Jason Heyward, who wreaks of class and professionalism. I realize Heyward is unusually mature for his age, but again, it’s quite a contrast.

    The Hanley example is a good comparison as well, Marc. Hanley has great numbers and is an NL All Star. Yunel’s hitting .238 with zero homers. The Marlins have to suffer through Hanley’s immaturity because he’s agurably their best hitter. The Braves are in first place DESPITE Yunel.

  59. 59
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    RE: the chemistry thing, specifically @6:

    My point about clubhouse chemistry is this–good chemistry tends to be a function of winning rather than a cause.

    I agree with you. Chemistry almost universally follows winning, rather than winning following chemistry.

    What does it say about Yoko that even the winning couldn’t bridge the gap with this team?

  60. 60
    csg Says:

    DOB links Olney’s take

  61. 61
    Stu Says:

    52—Cody Ross is an ideal target, IMO. Like a poor (homeless?) man’s Matt Kemp. He’s right-handed and, unlike Willingham or Hart (or Diaz), can play center.

  62. 62
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    No to Medlen/Hart. Minor/Hart, maybe. Not sure the upgrade to Hart is worth either considering Diaz’ return. As others have said, CF is the bigger priority.

  63. 63
    Adam M Says:

    I’m worried about the power disappearing in Atlanta too. While Toronto is a pitcher-friendly park overall, it does help right-handed pull hitters hit more home runs. In general, Gonzalez has had the highest number of “just enough” home runs in baseball this year. He better keep the power, though, because otherwise he’ll be awful.

    EDIT: I really, really hope the Braves trade neither Medlen nor Minor for Hart. Hart is about to turn back into a pumpkin.

  64. 64
    drewdat Says:

    Not really making a point with this, but just thought it was interesting given the ongoing discussion. Hinske, who has to count as something of a clubhouse chemistry expert at this point, per DOB:

    “Winning makes it easier to have a good clubhouse. You don’t ever really hear about having good clubhouses on losing teams, you know what I’m saying?”

  65. 65
    csg Says:

    #63 – the power may disappear from AAG, but I dont know if we would’ve seen Yunel’s come back either. His lack of power has been an ongoing issue for about 400AB’s now.

  66. 66
    Alex R. Says:

    The Braves are winning despite Yunel’s piss poor clubhouse and on field performance. Again, he’s 27, not 22. There’s not a ton of hope that the attitude will get better.

    And again, that’s wonderful about your Cubs story, Mac. But when you’re a 27 yr old adult, either you’re a team playing professional, or you Yunel Escobar and now you’re shipped out of a pennant race to a losing team.

    Again, Medlen for Corey Hart is a DUMB DUMB trade. (unless Wren somehow gets back a stud pitcher).

  67. 67
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @63 – Turner Field is geared for right handed power hitters too. It’s far easier for a RH pull hitter to homer in TF than a LH hitter.

  68. 68
    Smitty Says:

    Any word on who is getting sent down/DL ed?

  69. 69
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Nothing yet.

  70. 70
    P. W. Hjort Says:

    I like commando Cody way more than sunglasses at night.

  71. 71
    Alex R. Says:


    “Commando Cody”. That just gave me a mental image I didn’t need before lunch.

  72. 72
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That’s what I’ve always called him, Alex — there was an old serial hero called Commando Cody. I just wonder what CC’s numbers would look like if he never got to play us.

  73. 73
    Alex R. Says:

    That maybe so but I still don’t like the image it just gave me.

  74. 74
    Johnny Says:

    #60 – thanks for the link. It confirms everything most of us thought was the reason for the trade.

    AAG, Mookie, AGony, Sea Bass, so many choices ……..

    Love it or hate it, done deal. Lets play ball.

  75. 75
    Stu Says:

    So, there’s another one of those videos. Also awesome.

  76. 76
    David Says:

    so I was screwing around Baseball-Reference at work (again), and got to comparing Corey Hart to Josh Willingham. They’re very, very similar players:

    Hart: 2137
    Willingham: 2130

    H: 311
    W: 311

    H: 588
    W: 568

    H: 136
    W: 124

    H: 23
    W: 13

    H: 88
    W: 102

    H: 325
    W: 326

    H: 157
    W: 291

    H: 440
    W: 496

    H: 275
    W: 267

    H: 329
    W: 369

    H: 484
    W: 481

    H: 111
    W: 122

    Seems like they’re almost the same players, except that Willingham gets on base significantly better.

  77. 77
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Where is everybody getting all this “read what everybody is saying about Escobar – obviously he was a cancer”? Because all I can find is Bowman stating that “one veteran player” didn’t want to put up with him unless he was hitting.

  78. 78
    Stu Says:

    Also, Hart is younger and sans decrepit back. I honestly wouldn’t want to give up what it would take to get either.

  79. 79
    ububba Says:

    I’d sure like to hang onto Medlen.

    And can we just be mad at Yunel for being such a putz?

  80. 80
    Alex R. Says:


    Uh, NO. The Braves clubhouse from Cox on down were unhappy with Yunel, and this has now been reported by multiple reporters from the AJC (like DOB), ESPN, SI and other national sources.

  81. 81
    Johnny Says:

    I don’t think we should try to get an outfielder unless he is a CF that hits.

    And thats a rare commodity.

    #77 – read link at #60, should be all you want to know.

  82. 82
    DowneasterJC Says:


    Well I must be blind or stupid, because I can’t find any direct quotes other than that “one veteran player.” Everything else is just a nebulous “the clubhouse is unhappy” which could mean anything. I’m sure there are 30 MLB teams where some guys are “unhappy” with some other guys.


    For all we know, that could be the same “veteran player” as the other guy. All we know is that Bobby, and one other player didn’t like Escobar.

    I just don’t like this trade. If you have to get rid of Escobar, then get someone better than Jeff Francoeur. At least this guy won’t look so goofy at the plate while he’s hacking away, I guess.

  83. 83
    Johnny Says:

    I’d like to think that Medlen is untouchable. If we are looking to trade I’d think that one of our minor league pitchers would be our offering.

    Big difference between a guy that has had some success (yes, small sample size) and a guy like Teheran or Delgado, who have built their stellar reputations feasting on A and High A hitters.

  84. 84
    Adam R Says:

    @77, from Peanut’s same piece: “Wren saw this potential and also recognized the fact that many members of his team wanted him to get rid of Escobar.”

  85. 85
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    But, David, the fact that Willingham is so much better at getting on base than Hart is the reason that he’s such a better hitter than Hart. Hart’s questionable plate discipline is the reason it’s so hard to believe that he’ll remain an above-average hitter after this year.

    I am FULLY on board with calling him Another Alex G.

  86. 86
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    From DowneasterJC @82:

    I just don’t like this trade.

    That is, of course, your right.

    If you have to get rid of Escobar, then get someone better than Jeff Francoeur.

    But you do realize that, if Jeff Francoeur had been able to play a high-quality defensive shortstop, or even a high-quality defensive CF, he would have been a much more valuable player, right?

  87. 87
    Johnny Says:

    #82 – I think:
    That we all agree that Escobar is a better player.

    That being said the down grade to AAG won’t hurt us …… this year, because as of now AAG is simply out performing Escobar.

    The Braves decided that the defensive consistency of Gonzalez and the potential that he could sustain his outlier offensive play was better than hoping that Escobar could regain his former playing form.

  88. 88
    David Says:

    oh, I agree Willingham is the better hitter. I was just amazed at how similar they are, except for drawing walks.

  89. 89
    Jeff K Says:

    @82 – Some people won’t believe the earth is round until they themselves observe the shape of the earth’s shadow on a lunar eclipse or count the different sets of starts in the sky from multiple locations on the earth’s surface.

  90. 90
    Alex R. Says:


    Hmmm, I’m trying to figure how a guy hitting .238 with zero home runs & prone to wild decisions on the field, being lazy, and then generally unliked by most of his teammates and manager, is a “better player” then a guy who’s hit 17 home runs – now officially the team leader in that category, having a season infinitely better and a very good defensive player who’s not a clubhouse cancer.

    Sorry, I’m just dense. Someone has to explain to me how Escobar is better. Yes, he’s younger. That’s an undeniable fact.

    At this point, I’ll just defer to all of the Baseball writers.

  91. 91
    Johnny Says:

    Has anyone read the AJC blogs about this trade? I haven’t but I was wondering what intelligent discourse is going on over there.

  92. 92
    Johnny Says:

    #90 Look at the career numbers. Historically Escobar is a better player. This season, I agree, not, but over a larger sample size …..

  93. 93
    sdp Says:

    O’Flaherty to DL with a viral infection. Dude must be sick.

  94. 94
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Peanut tweets that O’Flaherty is going on the DL for a “viral infection”.

  95. 95
    Alex R. Says:


    …or he slept with Paris Hilton.


    But we’re talking about how truly horrible Escobar has been this season, coupled with the perpetual problem of his bad attitude having been a regular thing.

  96. 96
    Marc Schneider Says:

    If Escobar was such a valuable commodity, wouldn’t you think there would have been other offers on the table? It’s not like Yunel’s antics are not well known. Obviously, other clubs had some doubts about him as well. I’m sure Bobby’s being willing to give up on him scared teams away. The point is, it’s easy to say we should have gotten more for Yunel, but you can only get what other teams are offering.

    I don’t particularly care whether player A or player B did or did not say things about Escobar. All I needed to see was the Mets game, in conjunction with other dumb things he had done. It’s not as if Yunel’s problem was playing his music too loud. It was pretty obvious that he was in the process of playing his way out of Atlanta regardless of what the other players thought; his poor hitting made it easier for the Braves to pull the trigger.

  97. 97
    Rob Cope Says:

    Well said, Marc.

  98. 98
    Alex R. Says:


    Well put again, Marc. Plus, as was discussed earlier, if he had Hanley Ramirez numbers or even 2009 Yunel numbers, the Braves would have just sucked it up and put up with it.

    When you have zero home runs and a .238 BA, you have lost your leg to stand on.

  99. 99
    Jeff K Says:

    @87/92 – “Is” a better player is different than “has been” a better player. And the stats are only part of the equation – Yoko wore out his welcome, period. He isn’t old enough nor productive enough now to get or deserve a longer leash than he got. No amount of arm-chair commentary is going to change the fact that the people who had to work with him got tired of wondering who would show up each day.

  100. 100
    P. W. Hjort Says:

    Willingham also hasn’t played all of his career in Milwaukee.

  101. 101
    Johnny Says:

    #95 – no matter how you slice and dice it, Escobar is/has been a better player. And unless this season is a totally new level of established performance odds are he’ll be better in the future as well.

    Look, I’m ok with this trade. In Frank Wren and Braves scouting and Bobby Cox I trust. Our division and league is going to be very competitive. If the Braves thought for one minute that a lack of professionalism by Yunel Escobar was going to cost them a game or two then they made the right decision.

  102. 102
    Johnny Says:

    @96 market for Escobar is limited if you need a short stop to replace your short stop.

  103. 103
    Marc Schneider Says:


    But they didn’t necessarily have to trade him for a shortstop. If they had been blown away by some other offer, they could have gone with Infante (obviously not an ideal solution but at least tenable)or perhaps found someone else. I suspect if someone had offered an outfield option that was better, the Braves would have taken it.

    Look, I don’t know if I would have made this trade or not. I might not have given how well the team is playing now. But, it was pretty obvious that Yunel was going to be gone at some point, whether now or after the season, especially after the Met game. And, despite his obvious talent, I can’t say that he shouldn’t have been gone. Just from a fan’s standpoint, I didn’t think he was so good–even if he was playing up to his previous level– that it was worth putting up with the incredibly stupid things he did.

  104. 104
    oi! Says:

    I think the problem with using Infante as the everyday shortstop is what ends up being behind him. Either Brandon Hicks or Diory Hernandez ends up as the main backup for the middle infield. And remember, if Chipper were to miss time, Infante (or possibly Prado) would probably slide to 3B, rather than Brooks Conrad.

  105. 105
    td Says:

    @91. Isn’t finding intelligent discourse on the AJC blog about as difficult as BP stopping the oil leak?

  106. 106
    Alex R. Says:


    Brooks Conrad is solid, however, if Chipper goes down (and the operative phrase should ben “when Chipper goes down”) Wren has at leats positioned the Braves with 2 quality everyday players at SS and 3rd.

    But yes, I agree with Marc again (wow, twice in same day) that if Wren could have found another outfielder, he would have done that and we would have just gone with Infante.

  107. 107
    Johnny Says:

    @103 – I respectfully disagree. Escobar is having a fine defensive season. The Braves couldn’t take a large downgrade in defense for any long period of time. If you trade Escobar for something else, to your point, you STILL need to get a quality defender because as much as I like him Omar isn’t the solution. So who do you trade to get that defender? If you get any old all glove guy how much more of a down grade do you take on offense. Of course I don’t know at all but the evidence suggests that the Braves needed a shortstop in return for Escobar. Evidence that everyone involved in the trade knew the Jays were trading for a better player is that 2 prospects came with AAG.

    And all I have said that this was a good trade. However its rare when a team trades a better player for a lesser one especially when they are in the middle of a pennant race.

  108. 108
    oi! Says:

    I love me some Brooks Conrad, but let’s be realistic here. The guy is 30 years old, with 160 career major league plate appearances. And in that, he’s got a line of .221/.276/.434. His minor league numbers aren’t much better, either: .261/.344/.466. He’s perfectly fine as he’s been used this year, but no way do I want to see him starting for three weeks while Chipper’s hurt.

    Of course, if the alternative was seeing Brandon Hicks start for three weeks, I’d take Conrad. But I’d rather have a third alternative.

    Fortunately, we do have a third alternative.

    I do expect that if Gonzalez craters, we’ll see a lot of Infante at SS. I’m OK with that, as long as we have someone better than Hicks/Hernandez behind him.

  109. 109
    Alex R. Says:


    In agreement w/ that. And that’s why Wren made the trade he made. I’ve been plenty critical of Wren in the past. This was a good trade.

    Not only is Gonzo, at least for 2010, a signifigant upgrade at the plate and in the clubhouse, but Tim Collins appears to be a lefty reliever who could be a really good with an excellent K:BB ratio. The fact that Wren was able to secure a good lefty arm for our future pen is an additional “get”.

    I’ll criticize Wren plenty, like the Javy Vazquez deal (and it’s not so much about trading away Vazquez, it’s that Melky Cabrera sucks and everytime he plays, he takes at bats away from someone better), but not on this deal. I like the trade.

  110. 110
    Jeff K Says:

    @107 – You couldn’t have watched the Mets game last week and still written what you just wrote. He’s also trotted off the field with less than two outs, failed to cover assigned bases, and (although not a fielding matter) run the bases like a bonehead several times this season. Many of those things don’t show up in the stats, but the guys on the field see them.

    Also, Jo-Jo went to Toronto with Yoko, so your prospect headcount is off too.

  111. 111
    Johnny Says:

    #110 I LIKE THE TRADE.

    But empirically Escobar is/has/and very probably will be a better player. And thats why this whole trade is even a debatable topic.

    JoJo Reyes counts for something?

  112. 112
    Jeff K Says:

    Like it or no, it’s not correct to say that Yoko is having a good year doing anything except pissing off his teammates and coaches. And it’s very debateable whether he is or will be a better player than AAG.

    Jo-Jo counts in the silly analysis of whether the “evidence” of counting heads going opposite directions supports the proposition that the men making the trades believe Yoko to be the better player.

  113. 113
    Alex R. Says:


    Johnny, sorry, I’m going to dispute you again.

    IS a better player, is in question:

    Yunel: .238, 0 HR, 19 RBI, 5 SB, .334 OBP, .284 SLG (75 Games)

    Gonzo: .259, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 1 SB, .297 OBP, .497 SLG

    Yunel’s one edge is OBP and at .334, it’s not like that’s great. The Braves already lead the majors in OBP so having one guy at the bottom of the order with power who’s a free swinger, is not going to hurt a team that does take a lot of walks.

    Yunel was better last year. In 2010, Gonzo has been far superior in major offensive categories.

  114. 114
    Alex R. Says:

    And again, Johnny, where “empirically” are you seeing numbers that Escobar is better this year?

    To quote Larry King during most of his marriages, “Age is just a number”.

  115. 115
    spike Says:

    I’m not interested in discussing the trade anymore – it’s settled so let’s move on. But Alex, I am glad we didn’t swap for Derek Jeter who is clearly worse than A Gonz. I mean his only edge is in BA/OBP.

    .274 8HR 43 RBI .340 .392 .732

    (WAR 2.7 AG to 1.1 DJ too)

  116. 116
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think the potential upside for Yunel is obviously higher and, IN THE PAST, as Alex points out, he has been the better player. But, I cannot completely dismiss Keith Law’s suggestion that Escobar’s skill level has somehow declined and might not come back. If it does recover and if he gets his head on straight, then this will be a bad deal. But it’s not obvious that will happen; people thought Andruw Jones (admittedly older)would come back too.

  117. 117
    Bethany Says:

    Soooo, who’s going to see Inception?

  118. 118
    Kevin Lee Says:

    “Jo-Jo was a man who…”
    “Oh, Yoko…”

    I think this trade has a Beatles vibe to it. Bring on the new Summer of Love!

    Go Braves!

  119. 119
    Michael Says:

    We are more than halfway through the season and in first place. Assuming Infante plays some SS from here on out, wouldn’t a AAG/Infante outperform what 2010 Yunel had been doing up to this point? I think it would be hard to underperform 2010 Yunel, at least offensively. Add to the fact that he was generally disliked or thought of as unprofessional, throw in a couple of prospects from the Jays, and that’s a trade I think you have to make after giving it some thought.

    For the purposes of this season, I think the club really has been improved with this trade. Plus, AAG has an “affordable” option for next season if there are no better FA options available in the offseason. I think the trade will work out just fine.

    Go Braves!

  120. 120
    Johnny Says:

    #111 Alex, no apology needed. You have your opinion and I have mine. Yes, I can read BR tables too. Yes, over all AAG is out performing Esco offensively, this year. Though one could argue the difference isn’t as great as you would think since OBP is the most important offensive statistic and the difference between .297 and .334 is big.

    Jeff K. I think its more than my opinion. If you read some of the links that have been provided a lot of other folks say that Esco has been and probably will be a better player than AAG. I wasn’t only doing a count of bodies to quantify my opinion but taking into account that the two prospects we recieved with AAG have some upside, especially the small pitcher. JoJo has very little upside as his peformance history screams professional minor leaguer. So the Jays sent AAG and two prospects with upside for Escobar and JoJo Reyes. If they thought so poorly of Escobar and that he was inferior to AAG why not ask the Braves for more? Why not straight up?

    Yeah, I’ll stop. you guys are right and I am wrong. Whatever.

  121. 121
    Jeff K Says:

    Good lord that would have sucked if Wren had traded for Jeter. A 36 YO rapidly declining SS and an extra $20M or so a year.

    @121 – I’d be shocked if Toronto didn’t ask for more, they just didn’t get it.

  122. 122
    mravery Says:

    It bugs me when people ask questions like “Who IS the better player?” and then offer evidence that more properly addresses the question, “Who WAS the better player?”

    A good first half does not a good player make. And really, AAG’s good first half is more of a good first month and typically mediocre 2+ months.

  123. 123
    Michael Says:

    Bethany, I will be seeing Inception at some point. Ebert gave it a great review and I almost always agree with his thoughts. I am going to try to fight the urge to want to clearly “understand” everything, because I think it will take multiple viewings to soak it all in.

  124. 124
    spike Says:

    @122, your attempt to stop the use of SSS stats as predictive evidence of future performance is futile. Futile, do you hear?

  125. 125
    Alex R. Says:


    Johnny, as I mentioned earlier, I am not dismissing OBP in general. It’s very important. And despite the other advantages Gonzo has, Yunel is well ahead even this season, on OBP.

    But in the lineup we have, we have the best OBP in Baseball with a ton of guys who take walks. We have middling (at best) power. Now maybe the power will improve some with a healthy Heyward back in, but we need a spot ion the lineup to hit more home runs – we clearly have plenty of guys already who take walks. Gonzalez will help with the home runs/power.

  126. 126
    Alex R. Says:


    “Inception” is high on my list because the director is Chris Nolan.

  127. 127
    Alex R. Says:

    Just announced, but Brandon Hicks sent back to Gwinnett.

  128. 128
    Bethany Says:

    @123 I’m going to see it on Friday, I was excited already, and Ebert’s review only made it better.

  129. 129
    jorgbacca Says:

    My attempt to start a new discussion.

    So Chipper’s closing in on quite a few big round numbers that he could hit this year if he stays on the pace he’s on now.

    Currently he has 2467 career hits with 61 this season. 33 more gets him to 2500 which would be 93rd all time.

    He currently has 488 doubles with 16 this year. 12 more would tie him with 50th place all time at 500.

    He currently has 1393 walks with 50 coming this year. He’s already 27th and 7 more isn’t going to move him up any career lists.

    He has 147 stolen bases for his career with 5 this year. Career standing isn’t relevant here just close to another round number.

    He has 1478 RBI’s with 33 this year. 1510 would be 50th all time.

    He’s scored 1491 runs with 33 coming this year. 1504 would put him 69th all time.

    Not to shabby.

  130. 130
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Here’s an idea — let’s talk about AAG rather than the guy he was traded for.

  131. 131
    Jeff K Says:

    Chipper’s not a leader, not like Jeter is.

    ** Fun topic but trying to jazz it up a bit **

  132. 132
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Lineup, AAG hitting seventh in front of Blanco:

    ATL lineup: 1. Prado, 2. Heyward rf, 3. Jones 3b, 4. McCann c, 5. Glaus 1b, 6. Hinske lf, 7. Gonzalez ss, 8. Blanco cf, 9. Jurrjens

  133. 133
    Jeff K Says:

    JHey !!

  134. 134
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m with Alex. Chris Nolan is money. I’m going to see it Saturday.

    Jorgbacca, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you. Chipper’s numbers are obviously extremely shabby.

  135. 135
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Not to stir things up again, but I’m reminded by a Hardball Talk article that last year the Jays traded Scott Rolen for Edwin Encarnacion, and that hasn’t exactly worked out.

  136. 136
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Since when is half a season enough to judge how good one player is over another? I don’t think anybody is arguing that Escobar has been better than Gonzalez this season, but you’d have to be fairly thick to think that Gonzalez over his career has been better than Gonzalez. The numbers are simply way in Escobar’s favor there.

    I guess there’s an argument to be made that the current Escobar is the “true” Escobar, but I’m not of that opinion myself.

  137. 137
    Cary Says:

    @96, if the Braves haven’t received better offers, it’s not necessarily evidence that teams don’t value Yunel. It could be because the Braves have trashed their own product for the entire first half of the season.

    Other teams may perceive a lot of value in Yunel, but they know that the Braves don’t so they low-ball and eventually rook the Braves. And so they did.

  138. 138
    David Says:

    @134- got a laugh out of me

    Excited to see Heyward back in the 2-hole! I love the 1-6. If Nate McClouth ever comes back and hits better than Judy Dench, I’ll really like the lineup!

  139. 139
    ryan c Says:

    good news about hicks going to AAA. there was really no reason to keep him up with infante and conrad on the team. i think the fo is showcasing mike dunn. prediction: braves are going to trade melky, blanco, and dunn for a rh power bat.

  140. 140
    Mac Thomason Says:

    “[Y]ou’d have to be fairly thick to think that Gonzalez over his career has been better than Gonzalez.”

    Well, they do have similar statistics.

  141. 141
    Cary Says:

    And let’s not forget that shortstops of Gonzalez’s caliber can be acquired for very little. In fact, just last year the Red Sox (a smart front office) acquired Gonzalez after the trading deadline in a waiver deal for minor league infielder Kris Negron, a 23-year old Single A shortstop (who was batting .264 avg/.338 obp/.347 slg/.685 ops).

    Kris Negron.

  142. 142
    Jeff K Says:

    Mac, I think that’s AG v. AAG. ** giggle **

  143. 143
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yes, but if we had traded Kris Negron for him, we’d still have Yunel on our team. I get the sense that Bobby would have been happy if we’d traded Yunel to the Edmonton Oilers for a sack of pucks.

  144. 144
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Cary, there are pretty big contractual differences between AAG, 2009, and AAG, 2010. Last year he was on the last year of a contract paying him $5,375,000 for the season. This year his contract is much more team-friendly, $2,750,000 with an option for, I believe, slightly less (and no buyout). The Reds just wanted to dump his salary last year; this year, at least half a dozen teams wanted him.

  145. 145
    Jeff K Says:

    @143 – LOL, a little pee.

  146. 146
    Cary Says:

    141 is about AAG, Mac ;-)

  147. 147
    td Says:

    @139 – Let’s hope their “showcasing” of Dunn works out a little better than their showcasing of Resop. If they could trade two low upside/ average players (with a very similar skillset, except Melky has a little more pop and is a switch hitter) and a lefty reliever with some potential for a good RH power bat, I would be ecstatic. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening.

  148. 148
    Cary Says:

    @144, yes, Mac. My point is that you can find an Alex Gonzalez-caliber SS for next to nothing. It doesn’t have to be THE Alex Gonzalez. Let other teams trade for TAG. Acquire AGC instead.

  149. 149
    Jeff K Says:

    @148 – Sheesh, now there’s another another Alex Gonzalez out there?? Mac, maybe we need to change the nickname? AAAG?

  150. 150
    Tomas Says:

    Surprised and very happy to see Blanco starting over Melky.

  151. 151
    Tony Says:

    Too many damn Alex Gonzalezes…so was born in Florida, and played for Toronto. The other was born in Venzuela and played in for Florida and Toronto. Interesting.

    So glad to see Heyward back in the line-up. I hope that thumb is healed for real.

  152. 152
    TheBravestWay Says:

    Quick Defense Projection for Gonzalez

    5/4/3 URZ: 5.1
    5/4/3 DPM: 5
    Tango Scouting Report Reds: 3.4
    Tango Scouting Report 4.09

    So I would say a +5 defender at SS.

    Not bad though his bat will likely be unbearable.

  153. 153
    ububba Says:

    If he hits a few HRs, it’ll be a few more than the last guy.

  154. 154
    Stu Says:

    Excited to see Heyward back in the 2-hole!

    To each his own.

    i think the fo is showcasing mike dunn. prediction: braves are going to trade melky, blanco, and dunn for a rh power bat.

    Nah, I’m with PWHjort — I think O’Flaherty is traded, either now or during the offseason, and Dunn replaces him on our staff.

  155. 155
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think it depends upon what O’Flaherty’s disease is.

  156. 156
    spike Says:

    “melky, blanco, and dunn for a rh power bat.”

    I think we already got the kind of power bat you can trade those guys for.

  157. 157
    Weldon Says:

    @75 – “I think I will stick to beer and hot dogs instead of calculators and virginity.”
    Hahaha…the debate rages on.

  158. 158
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking about starting a side-project band (to Troll On, Troll Boy) called, “Calculators and Virginity.”

  159. 159
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Sounds like a Devo album.

  160. 160
    Stu Says:

    Maybe that’ll just be one of our hit songs, as opposed to a separate project.

  161. 161
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think it’s part of a concept recording, an electronic rock opera entitled Songs From My Mother’s Basement.

  162. 162
    Weldon Says:

    I would pay to watch a Calculators and Virginity gig.

    Would you all dress up like Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards?

  163. 163
    sdp Says:

    Vamos Bravos!!

  164. 164
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:


    The curtain rises on Bob, a misunderstood Cleveland Indians fan in college at Kent State who blogs under the handle of boojiboy. He looks at his monitor, sighs dramatically, and begins to sing…

    “They tell me that
    I will do well
    Just get good grades
    And learn how to spell

    I get straight A’s
    My life is in hell!

    Cause girls like men
    I am a nerd
    Cause girls like men
    I am a nerd…”

  165. 165
    braves14 Says:

    Agony batting 7th is probably the best place.

  166. 166
    Jeff K Says:

    Time for the half that counts!!

    Other tracks for the Calculators and Virginity operetta could include Geek Chic and Fatal Exception Error.

  167. 167
    Mac Thomason Says:

    “Replacement Level Girls”.

  168. 168
    Jeff K Says:

    “Moving in Dolby 6.1 – Fast Times Reprise”

  169. 169
    sansho1 Says:

    “VORPing the Night Away”

  170. 170
    sdp Says:

    Heyward back in lineup. I predict he takes Dave Bush yard tonight.

  171. 171
    Weldon Says:

    “WAR (What Is It Good For?)”

  172. 172
    sansho1 Says:

    “Electric Slide (Rule)”

  173. 173
    spike Says:

    “What Do You Mean By ‘Like’ A Virgin?”

  174. 174
    urlhix Says:

    “5318008 (Upside down remix)”

  175. 175
    Mike N. Says:

    Weren’t we starting a Braves Journal band? I’m pretty sure I got piano on this one.

    That doesn’t really make me sound cool at all does it?

  176. 176
    sansho1 Says:

    Joe Simpson — “When Alex Gonzalez entered the Braves clubhouse, he got a standing ovation.”

    Simpson has been vocal in his attempts to encourage Escobar — his ebullience today is most telling….

  177. 177
    spike Says:

    Corey Hart with an early statement about trade value…

  178. 178
    Robert Says:

    Still can’t get McGehee out.

  179. 179
    Bethany Says:

    Thanks Heyward!

  180. 180
    Robert Says:

    Thanks for the free out.

  181. 181
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    God, I’ve missed Jason Heyward.

  182. 182
    sdp Says:

    How did Heyward look in that first AB?

  183. 183
    sansho1 Says:

    JHey can!

  184. 184
    Robert Says:

    #182 – The same. Quickly fell behind 0-2 then a weak pop up. We’ll see….

  185. 185
    Bethany Says:

    Yeesh, JJ is making me nervous.

  186. 186
    Tomas Says:

    I thought he looked fine, the foul balls were all hit hard.

    JJ is leaving a lot of pitches up.

  187. 187
    Mac Thomason Says:

    What people forget about Gonzalez’s homers is that Canadian homers are only worth seven-tenths of an American homer.

  188. 188
    Robert Says:

    New guy gets a chance to tie it.

  189. 189
    Robert Says:

    He took Belliard’s number? A shortstop wearing #2 is our new power source?

  190. 190
    Bethany Says:

    Bwahahaha, he walks!!!!

  191. 191
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    AAG’s first appearance in a Braves uniform: intentional walk. An auspicious start!

  192. 192
    Mac Thomason Says:

    And he has thus far successfully not been Yunel Escobar.

  193. 193
    Alex Says:

    Raise your hand if you had “walk” as the result of Gonzalez’s first plate appearance in the Braves Journal office pool.

  194. 194
    Frank Says:

    @187–seen the value of the dollar lately?

  195. 195
    sdp Says:

    Dammit, Blanco.

  196. 196
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oh, Chipper. Ugh.

  197. 197
    Bethany Says:

    Ugh, Chipper.

  198. 198
    Robert Says:


  199. 199
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Braves place Eric O’Flaherty on disabled list | Atlanta Braves.

    So, what disease do we think he has?

  200. 200
    Tomas Says:

    Get in front of the ball, Dorn!

  201. 201
    sdp Says:

    Corey Hart is so ugly.

  202. 202
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Okay, that inning looked a lot better. He froze Braun with a beautiful fastball to paint the corner low and away. That’s the JJ we know and love.

  203. 203
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:


  204. 204
    Robert Says:


  205. 205
    Bethany Says:


  206. 206
    RJ in KS Says:

    That guy is good.

  207. 207
    sansho1 Says:


    Edit: No results yet, but Heyward is generating some serious bat speed….

  208. 208
    sdp Says:


  209. 209
    Robert Says:

    And a strike out on ball four from Heyward.

  210. 210
    Tomas Says:

    Nitram says “Dave Bush really isn’t as good as we make him seem.”

  211. 211
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Laughed out loud at Joe’s “I think he’s played really well since he quit.”

  212. 212
    RJ in KS Says:


  213. 213
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:


  214. 214
    RJ in KS Says:

    I’ve missed watching these games.

  215. 215
    c. shorter Says:

    And I’m missing this one… stupid black out.

  216. 216
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ricky Weaks.

  217. 217
    Robert Says:

    Awful play by Weeks there. Make ‘um pay Hinske.

  218. 218
    sdp Says:


    Dammit, Hinske!

  219. 219
    jorgbacca Says:

    That will help climb up those career numbers I posted.

  220. 220
    Frank Says:

    Ricky Reeks.

  221. 221
    Robert Says:

    Congrats Rene from Savannah. Somebody finally won that contest.

  222. 222
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Please be okay, Jason…

  223. 223
    Frank Says:

    oh no

  224. 224
    Tony Says:

    So how does Heyward look so far?

  225. 225
    c. shorter Says:

    (I’m with the radio guys… how bad did it look?)

  226. 226
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Hopefully, he just banged his funny bone.

  227. 227
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    He looks winded, but he looks okay. I think he’s mostly catching his breath.

  228. 228
    Frank Says:

    face first into the wall–looks ok

    might see it sportscenter tonight

  229. 229
    RJ in KS Says:

    That was scary.

  230. 230
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Looked bad. But he’s up and playing again. Looks to be okay.

  231. 231
    sansho1 Says:

    Looks okay — hell of a play, too.

  232. 232
    David Says:


    so stu, you’re…not excited to see heyward back in the 2-hole?

  233. 233
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Face first into the foul pole (with a little padding between.)

  234. 234
    Tomas Says:

    Hopefully he just got every breath of air knocked out of him.

  235. 235
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    AAG with a double!

  236. 236
    RJ in KS Says:

    Yunel would have turned that into a single.

  237. 237
    Tony Says:

    Wtf? Heyward ran into the wall?

  238. 238
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Again, he is being not Yunel Escobar.

  239. 239
    Dan Says:

    An extra-base hit from the shortstop? Is that possible?

  240. 240
    rehabreject Says:

    what a jackass Joe West is …
    the guy is on the ground writhing in pain and here comes Joe West to make an “out” signal. Jackass.

  241. 241
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    2 ABs, BB, 2B. Early returns are promising.

  242. 242
    Stu Says:

    AGony: walking in half of his PAs and slugging 2.000. Machine.

  243. 243
    spike Says:

    So, was that one o’ them Canadian homers?

    I love the photoshopped Atlanta hat on his Gamecast pic too

  244. 244
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Uh, rehabreject. That’s Joe West doing his job. If that ball pops out Heyward’s glove, it’s not an out.

  245. 245
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Mac, day after the trade, how are you feeling about it? Has your initial reaction changed? What grade would you give it?

  246. 246
    Jeremy Says:

    Trvia question on Brewers feed: Two Braves that have won All-Star game MVP. They conceded McCann obviously. Without cheating, didn’t McGriff win it one year? I seem to remember him coming off the bench and hitting a game winning HR off Lee Smith.

  247. 247
    Stu Says:

    246—I believe it was game-tying, with Moises Alou getting the winning RBI in extras, but I think McGriff is the right answer.

  248. 248
    Frank Says:

    @240–at least he didn’t break into a song

  249. 249
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Nice running catch by Gregor!

  250. 250
    csg Says:

    dang, JJ needs to keep these fastballs down…nice play Blanco

    ball is flying in ATL tonight

  251. 251
    RJ in KS Says:

    And AGony makes a play?

  252. 252
    csg Says:

    yes, McGriff is correct

  253. 253
    Tomas Says:

    Need a little less hard hit fly balls, JJ.

  254. 254
    jjschiller Says:

    Yeah I’m with Cary. I hate Gonzalez already.

  255. 255
    csg Says:

    it kind of has the feel of the Marte/Renteria deal doesnt it? just remember when everyone was flipping out because we traded a young stud for a washed up SS

  256. 256
    Stu Says:

    255—Settle down. Renteria had had many good offensive seasons in the past.

  257. 257
    csg Says:

    oh I know, Renteria’s track record was far greater

  258. 258
    jjschiller Says:

    CSG, I’m having trouble reading your post. There seems to be no vitriol NOR any hyperbole in it? I don’t understand. It’s easy “FIRE – FRANK – WREN.” Get with the program.

  259. 259
    csg Says:

    sorry about that…yes “FIRE FRANK WREN”

  260. 260
    jjschiller Says:


  261. 261
    braves14 Says:

    Pretty strange that Fielder has 39 RBI on 20 HR.

  262. 262
    Smitty Says:

    If Wren were any good he would have traded O’Flaherty’s virus for Puljos.

  263. 263
    Smitty Says:

    @261 (seems odd to have that many posts in the 6th inning, Go Mac!)

    Bruan has been clearing the bases in front of him.

  264. 264
    jjschiller Says:

    Yunel Escobar was the best defensive shortstop in baseball this year. The guy we got is only the FOURTH best defensive shortstop in baseball! Number 4 out of THIRTY! JESUS!

    What I want to know is, if we’re trading a stud like Escobar why couldn’t he get BOTH Alex Gonzalezes? Frank Wren is AN IDIOT!

  265. 265
    sdp Says:

    Would Prince Fielder rather hit a
    a. baseball
    b. buffet

  266. 266
    jjschiller Says:

    c. strip club?

  267. 267
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Prince is supposedly a vegetarian, which means he’s eating an awful lot of lettuce.

    The high comment count is mostly because I posted this early because yesterday‘s post was getting full up.

  268. 268
    braves14 Says:

    Is there a comment limit on a post?

  269. 269
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    A couple loud outs aside, JJ has looked pretty solid ever since the Corey Hart solo shot. And just 74 pitches through 6 innings. Unlike our offense, he’s incredibly efficient.

  270. 270
    braves14 Says:

    Jim Edmonds is making routine plays look very difficult.

  271. 271
    Bethany Says:

    Any Blanco fans left?

  272. 272
    Nick H Says:

    Blanco has now struck out twice on low-in fastballs (not very hard ones, either). If his batting eye goes, he’s got nothing left but his defense.

  273. 273
    Stu Says:

    271—Yep. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer to have a better option for a starting center fielder.

  274. 274
    Bethany Says:

    Maybe Eric has a staph infection. I know NFL teams are real hush when that happens.

  275. 275
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Prince is supposedly a vegetarian, which means he’s eating an awful lot of lettuce.

    I suspect he eats a lot of grains and carbs. He went vegetarian to please his wife, so he is trained to “fill up” on meat and protein. To replace that fullness, you eat carbs, carbs, carbs. He’s like the anti-Atkins guy.

  276. 276
    csg Says:

    well Boras wants a Tex type deal for Prince. Id say thats prolly not going to happen with his attitude and his body shape/size

  277. 277
    csg Says:

    nate is 1-4 with a SB tonight…wonder how long his rehab stint will last. Im sure Wren wants to see him quite a bit before the trade deadline

  278. 278
    Stu Says:

    Nice job, Pete. Now, let’s get a little breathing room.

  279. 279
    Jeremy Says:

    I think bad thoughts when Moylan is in the game with runners on.

  280. 280
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m with Stu. This is who Blanco is: a guy with some defense and a low average who isn’t an everyday starting player. He’s fine.

  281. 281
    Stu Says:

    I know the results haven’t been there tonight — in fact, they’re a lot like they’ve been — but Heyward’s swing looks a lot stronger, to me.

  282. 282
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Staph is a bacterium (staphylococcus aureus) and they say O’Flaherty’s is viral.

  283. 283
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Glaus should have made that play.

  284. 284
    Stu Says:

    Troy should have made that play.

  285. 285
    Mac Thomason Says:


  286. 286
    Dr Bob Says:

    What is the consensus on Heyward? Does everyone agree he looks pretty good, minus the results?

  287. 287
    Mike N. Says:

    Maybe he has herpes

  288. 288
    Bethany Says:

    Whew… 1 down.

  289. 289
    Stu Says:

    Heeeeeeeere’s Jonny!

  290. 290
    Jeremy Says:

    What a totally unnecessary ovation for Moylan.

  291. 291
    Bethany Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Mac.

  292. 292
    braves14 Says:

    Venters has “huge shit” out of the ‘pen.

  293. 293
    Jeremy Says:

    Venters is the MAN.

  294. 294
    Rusty S. Says:

    … and Honey, I’m home.

  295. 295
    csg Says:

    I dont know Moylan did a fine jobe tonight

  296. 296
    Stu Says:

    Remember when Jo-Jo Reyes was on the team instead of Venters out of Spring Training?

  297. 297
    Weldon Says:

    Moylan got us out of JJ’s jam and then started off the inning by forcing weak grounders from 2 of their best hitters. I’d say he was worthy of some recognition.

    If you told me in February that Jonny Venters would have over 40 IP by the all star break, I’d have assumed that Wags and EOF had cataclysmic arm injuries.

  298. 298
    csg Says:

    291 – should that be added to the Braves Journal Glossary?

  299. 299
    Tomas Says:

    Venters solid again.

  300. 300
    ryan c Says:

    brandon beachy has 11 strikeouts through 4 innings in mississippi. that’s starting with a “huge shit”.

  301. 301
    braves14 Says:

    Moylan was fine, got 3 weak groundballs and didn’t blow the game

  302. 302
    Tony Says:

    2 runs off Dave Bush?

  303. 303
    Stu Says:

    Diaz should be hitting here.

  304. 304
    braves14 Says:

    I hate when I see idiots behind the screen on cell phones waving at the TV camera when a pitcher is delivering.

  305. 305
    stupup74 Says:

    There has been talk of moving Venters to the rotation. Why? I would like to see Venters/Kimbrell back end of the bullpen for the next 10-15 years.

    Edit: I want this because they both have HUGE SHIT!!!

  306. 306
    Robert Says:

    Wow, they are lucky that bat didn’t kill a spectator.

  307. 307
    braves14 Says:

    303 — Nah, I’d stick with the defense here.

  308. 308
    csg Says:

    I havent heard of the Braves wanting Venters in the rotation. There’s no need

    JJ, Huddy, Hanson, Medlen, Minor, Lowe, KK should all be ahead of that idea. He may be the closer next season

  309. 309
    ryan c Says:

    talk from who? havent heard that at all. it makes absolutely no sense considering the starting spots basically already established for next year.

  310. 310
    Stu Says:

    305—Where have you seen/heard that talk?

  311. 311
    Stu Says:

    307—You can always bring the defense in after this half-inning.

  312. 312
    braves14 Says:

    From who, Infante in the OF?

  313. 313
    ryan c Says:

    this will be the game that gets brandon beachy some much deserved love. he has 13ks through 5. his stats are absurd this year since converting to a starter…

  314. 314
    csg Says:

    well some scouts also think that this Collins kid is a closer too

    Kimbrel/Collins/Venters….not bad

    for those who havent seen him pitch

  315. 315
    Mike N. Says:

    Pinch hit with Diaz and then replace him with Melky…

  316. 316
    braves14 Says:

    Melky was already in the game.

  317. 317
    Stu Says:

    312—From Melky.

  318. 318
    Robert Says:

    #315 – That’s not the way the rules work.

  319. 319
    Robert Says:

    Stu clearly missed Melk checking in.

  320. 320
    Stu Says:

    317—Ah, didn’t realize that. Never mind!

  321. 321
    Stu Says:

    316—Ah, didn’t realize that. Never mind!

  322. 322
    ryan c Says:

    how does it feel to have the best closer in baseball pitching for us?

  323. 323
    braves14 Says:

    Wagner’s just going to strike everybody out.

  324. 324
    sdp Says:

    Wagner is FILTHY. (Just like the gas I have tonight.)

  325. 325
    csg Says:

    Wagner is decent

  326. 326
    stupup74 Says:

    The guys have made mention of it on the telecasts several times. Venters has even commented on the possibility of it next year.

    It has been mentioned before, but I don’t see it happening.

  327. 327
    Mike N. Says:

    Ah, I hadn’t noticed Melky in already either, my bad.

  328. 328
    Robert Says:

    Ballgame. With Moylan back on his game, that’s a tough pen.

  329. 329
    Stu Says:

    Nice win. Didn’t think 2 would hold up. We have so much good pitching.

  330. 330
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    So, apparently we’re good at baseball.

  331. 331
    Dr Bob Says:

    So Wagner was a decent addition to this team.

  332. 332
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Gonzalez absolutely sucked tonight. Oh wait he didn’t.


  333. 333
    braves14 Says:

    All the runs tonight were on early solo homers.

  334. 334
    Mac Thomason Says:


  335. 335
    csg Says:

    cmon Cubbies

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